Psychometric Analysis Regarding the Barriers to Providing Effective Insulin Treatment in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

Eu Jeong Ku, Dong-Hwa Lee, Hyun Jeong Jeon, Frank Park, Tae Keun Oh
Diabetes Therapy: Research, Treatment and Education of Diabetes and related Disorders 2020 October 24

INTRODUCTION: A psychometric analysis on type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients was performed to assess whether glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels were dependent upon either the psychologic or economic attitude toward the use of insulin as a treatment for their diabetic condition.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was designed using 271 patients with T2D who regularly visited a tertiary referral hospital in South Korea from June 2019 to December 2019. Each patient enrolled in this protocol was treated with insulin for at least 6 months, had recordings of their plasma HbA1c measurement, and completed validated questionnaires consisting of items focusing on patient attitudes toward insulin use [Insulin Treatment Appraisal Scale (ITAS)] and cost-related issues related to diabetic supply purchase. Multiple regression analyses were performed to determine the association between their HbA1c and each item on the questionnaires.

RESULTS: In both males and females, there was a significant association (P < 0.05) between HbA1c levels and multiple items on the ITAS questionnaire, which are generally regarded as a negative perception (ITAS 1 "personal failure" and ITAS 2 "illness severity" in males and ITAS 12 "expected harm" and ITAS 15 "restrictiveness" in females). In females, however, not all perceptions were negative, since one item (ITAS 8 "anticipated effect") was correlated with the measurement of a lower HbA1c level (- 0.495 ± 0.211, P < 0.05). There was no association between the levels of HbA1c and the cost of insulin or associated diabetic supplies. Since only a few patients in this study chose to reduce their drug dosing because of cost, the resistance to using insulin is likely not driven by economic reasons.

CONCLUSION: The psychometric results of the ITAS suggested that HbA1c levels were directly associated with a positive attitude of the patient to willingly use insulin for therapy. The cost of the insulin therapy was not associated with HbA1c levels. These findings in the Korean population suggest that continued education is needed to ensure that T2D patients have a reinforced positive psychology toward the use of insulin in the control of their glycemia.

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